The Journey to Customer Data Best Practices

March 14, 2019 | 4 minute read
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By Sanjeev Kumar, Global Head, Oracle CRM/CX at Tata Consultancy Services

Everybody talks about getting a “360-degree view” of the customer, but the fact remains that most businesses today struggle to get even a fraction of that view.

This inability to unlock the full potential of data deters many businesses from gaining a complete understanding of their customers. In too many organizations, customer data is trapped inside departmental silos. Each group has its own systems and databases, and each one captures different slices of information about a particular customer. Such fragmentation makes it nearly impossible to piece together a unified view of the customer.

The other problem is that companies don’t focus on the entire customer journey. In most cases, departments only look at their part of the overall experience. For example, if you’re in sales and marketing, you may have little or no knowledge of your best customers’ most recent service inquiries. At best, you end up with an incomplete or vague understanding of your customer. That’s not good enough.

Fragmented Data Means Fragmented Experiences

If you don't have a holistic understanding of all your interactions with your customers, you’re probably giving them a disjointed experience. If your marketing system isn’t integrated with customer service, your customers may feel like they’re dealing with two entirely different entities. Customers confused by this disconnect will lose trust in your brand as it only takes one bad experience for a fickle customer to go elsewhere.

It’s also about missed opportunities. If you don’t have a full view of your customer, you can’t effectively execute cross-sell and up-sell programs that expand wallet share. Without a full and accurate understanding of your customer’s needs and expectations, you’ll have trouble gathering and understanding the insights you need to create the “next big thing” that could transform your long-term business prospects.

Break Down Data Silos!

How do you get what every marketer strives for – that unified 360-degree customer view? Start by taking a broader, more strategic view of customer data.

Your customer data is a key business asset that should drive your organization’s growth and competitiveness. Look beyond merely capturing and storing your customer data.  Focus on the entire value chain by embracing how data can be identified, assessed, shared, understood, and used.

A well-executed data strategy will rapidly move your organization up the customer data maturity scale. Data maturity ranges from “siloed” on the low end – where there is little to no data sharing nor analytics – to “self-optimized”, which nurtures a mature customer data management practice that takes advantage of an internal and continuously expanding data ecosystem data where insights are shared freely across the organization.

New tools and technologies will help you tear down these silos and pull in a wider range of customer data across your enterprise.

Race to the Modern CX Cloud with TCS and Oracle

Every Industry Will Be Affected

New business models and services are emerging like Nest, Netflix, Air BnB, Uber and Spotify. These brands use real-time data insights to drive customer experience & growth. They use real time data and mobility technologies to provide great customer experiences and are disrupting staid industries.

The three tenets that inform smarter CX are 1) connected data and 2) connected intelligence, which fuel 3) connected customer experiences. Each layer feeds each other to drive real-time actionable insights for superior customer experiences. The Oracle CX Cloud Suite is based on these three tenets to provide smarter customer experiences.

But Wait!  There’s More!

To generate a true 360-degree view, however, you’ll need to get even more data. This means integrating data inside your enterprise with third-party data from business partners and other outside sources, including social media, news feeds, and even IoT sensor data.

Oracle CX Unity, a new customer intelligence platform that will be embedded with Oracle CX Cloud will drive customer insight by combining 1st part data within organizational walls with 3rd part data from Oracle Data Cloud  (Oracle data cloud is largest 3rd party data marketplace).

Take Action

Once you get the data and insights, how do you put them into action? This is where new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the game. Sales teams can engage an AI engine on top of your data to recommend optimal actions for specific customers, increasing the chance to convert any given opportunity into a win.

Consider your typical mobile phone shopper who is also an active social media participant. What if you could tap into that history when a customer contacts your call center? Now you can provide an instant offer that the customer might not be able to refuse – even if you didn’t originally plan to sell that person a phone.

Always remember: real time-insights based on relevant data sets will have far powerful recommended actions for customers, giving brands an avenue to provide superior customer experience and create a lasting relationship with customers.

Moving to a customer data-centric model can be a big change for an organization. To adapt, some need to radically change how they drive behavior around capturing, sharing and governing information in the enterprise. Creating a customer analytics and insight team to harness the potential of customer data can give you a big head start, as well as defining the technologies to build a world-class customer analytics capability.

What’s the first thing organizations should do to conquer CX in 2019? To find out, come see us at this year’s Modern Customer Experience conference in Las Vegas, March 19-21.




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